Modern receptions of Julius Caesar are complex and often contradictory. This complexity derives from the nature of Caesar’s character, the biases of the ancient accounts and the individual circumstances governing the receptions. This seminar argues that modern receptions select an image of Caesar derived from the ancient accounts or construct an image within the parameters they create. In the years following his assassination, Caesar was used positively and negatively, either as a political model or a model enemy. Caesar’s successors and assassins respectively deployed these approaches, the former by stressing their connections to Caesar, the latter by emphasising Caesar’s faults as an attempt to justify the righteousness of their cause. Modern receptions have long been governed by these parameters. Individuals could emphasise their links to Caesar to bolster their claims to power. Alternatively, one could identify their opponent as being a Caesar-like tyrant, just as the conspirators identified Caesar as a tyrant. This seminar demonstrates that the parameters established by ancient portrayals are exceedingly useful in deciphering contradictory modern receptions of Caesar.

About Classics and Ancient History Seminars

Event details

  • The seminars take place at 4pm, in the Michie Building (09), Room 536
  • Seminars are also on Zoom. Send an email to Duncan Keenan-Jones ( for the link.
  • Upcoming seminars can be found here.
  • Please be aware that we are still operating under Covid-19 regulations during public events. Masks are no longer required at UQ locations - however, UQ strongly encourages mask wearing when physical distancing is not possible. UQ strongly encourages all campus attendees to be up to date with vaccinations. And finally, those who are feeling unwell, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous 7 days or have been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 7 days, are asked not to attend this seminar.
  • For those attending in person, if you would like to join us for drinks and/or dinner afterwards at UQ’s St. Lucy's from 5:15 pm, please RSVP by email to Duncan Keenan-Jones ( by 9am on the day of the seminar.
  • Please also contact Duncan Keenan-Jones should you have questions about the event.

The Friends of Antiquity, an alumni organisation of the University, runs its own series of public lectures, which take place on Sunday afternoons. The Friends’ program for can be found at